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Manuel Pellegrini still believes Manchester City can win Prem title

Manuel Pellegrini has refused to give up on winning the Premier League title despite Manchester City being held to a goalless draw by relegation-threatened Norwich City on Saturday.

The result leaves his side nine points off the top with just nine games remaining while City missed the chance to move up to third by winning their game in hand over Arsenal.

City have just 51 points -- their lowest points tally at this stage for seven years -- but Pellegrini is trying to stay positive.

He told a news conference: "Every time that you drop points it is harder but you must continue thinking in a positive way. We must always try to win the title while we mathematically can.

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"We must try to win all the games and we continue with the same mentality."

Pellegrini had set a target of 75 points to win the title meaning City must win eight of their remaining nine games to reach that total. But his side haven't won successive games since October and have won just one of their last five games.

And City's Champions League berth could also come under threat unless they improve quickly. West Ham United are just two points behind while Manchester United are four points adrift and City play their neighbours at the Etihad on Sunday after Tuesday's Champions League second leg with with Dynamo Kiev.

Pellegrini added: "The most important thing now is to be focused on the Champions League game we have to play on Tuesday, to try to qualify for the next stage.

"After that we have to play against Manchester United on Sunday and try to win again the three points. And at the end of the season we'll see how many points we can have and in which position we'll be.

"Today we worked very well in the whole game. What we normally do in an easy way, today we couldn't do it. We normally create space and score goals. Today Norwich defended very well."

It was a game short on quality with the visitors only managing three shots on target. Norwich didn't manage any although striker Patrick Bamford crashed a 30-yard strike against the crossbar.

City goalkeeper Joe Hart said: "It was a disappointing performance -- myself and [Norwich keeper] John Ruddy could have had the afternoon off.

"You have to give credit to Norwich for how they defended. It's worked for them but I'm not bothered about them. We weren't good enough to win the game.

"Sometimes it not good enough. We needed more invention, more brilliance and that wasn't available. It chops and changes at the top and we have to stay consistent to our beliefs. We believe we can win the league.

"We are going to need a crazy season to get even more crazy but we will keep going."

Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him @jonnysmiffy.

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